Back to Basics is now the longest running weekly club night in the world, it’s been 19 disgraceful years since Basics was born. Now a fully fledged teenager itself and 20 in November this year it is legendary in the clubbing world. Clubland as it’s now known has been inflicted, afflicted (delete as applicable) by this rowdy and voracious band of merry pranksters partying like no others before them, Basics are probably the first and last gang in town that have stuck to their original script and tattooed their multi – coloured slogans onto the psyches of the club going masses: ‘Fuck Forever”, “Excess all areas’ and ‘Two Steps Further Than Any Other Fucker!’ instantly spring to mind.
Dave Beer & Alistair Cooke (who sadly is no longer with us due to a tragic car accident, where Dave narrowly survived on the way to a gig in Glasgow in 1993) came straight out of Wakefield with attitude and timing which was perfect. Along with a number of other reprobates, they knew that Leeds needed a proverbial kick up its white glove and whistle blowing arse. The story of their collective wasted youth was punk rock cliché a go go. Both Dave & Ali met at Art College. Dave dropped out and went on to roads manage the Sisters of Mercy and Pop Will Eat Itself, and Ali ended up working in a record shop in Leeds. After meeting up again at some mad warehouse party in Yorkshire, the two of them hatched their plan. This (un)cultural revolution was spawned at a seedy three story gay club situated literally at the ‘bottom’ end of Leeds. One floor, two DJ’s - Ali and Ralph Lawson, 3 banners and a load of camouflage netting.
Like anything of any worth Basics grew from the roots up, the club didn’t miraculously sprout a membership and a guaranteed capacity crowd, it evolved and through its evolution influenced, set standards, pioneered and raised the maximum amount of hell.. As Julius Caeser said as his eunuchs lowered him into a hot tub of nubile virgins and ass’s milk “Conquer or Nothing”. Basics soon conquered the hearts and minds of those who took the effort to seek out this small wonder that was carrying on like there was no tomorrow upstairs at the Music Factory in Leeds every Saturday night.
The club has continued and has always prided itself at the forefront of cutting edge dance music, seeking out new talent and bringing it to the fore. It has been responsible for helping spawn the careers of thousands of wannabe DJ’s and dance act’s alike, including the likes of now household names such as Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, and many many more. Dave spent a considerable amount of his time in the early 90’s in America looking for talent in such notorious clubs as The Sound Factory, Save the Robots and seedy gay clubs like Jackie 60 looking for anything to bring back over to the UK. Despite inspiration he brought over such talents as Francois K, Danny Tenaglia, Frankie Knuckles, Doc Martin, Josh Wink and Derrick Carter. All who made their debut appearances in England at Back to Basics.
Over the years basics has taken its unique blend of mayhem and organised chaos to the 4 corners of the world with it’s faithful resident DJ’s , touching the hearts and souls of the dancefloors and everyone they meet along the way. Mention the name Back to Basics anywhere on the planet and somebody will have a story to tell about these lovable dance anarchists. After moving venue five times to keep the vibe alive, they have picked up virtually every Dance award in all categories from ‘Best Club’ to ‘Cainer of the Year’. For promoter Dave Beer it was never about a career, it was always about a way of life, a lust for life and the pursuit of happiness. A purveyor of good times, bringing joy into peoples lives, even if for only a short moment in time. For him and his crew it’s always about the party and not to be taken too seriously but to be taken very seriously.
Basics is stronger than ever, it is now an institution. Pretence and mediocrity are still banished from ever stepping foot inside its doors.
The King Is Dead, Long Live Back To Basics! 1991 – 2011.